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tv   KQED Newsroom  PBS  June 28, 2014 2:00am-2:31am PDT

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next on "kqed newsroom" should fair and open internet access be debated? environmental crime on the rise, stealing off redwood trees. >> the most blatant cut we've seen, five yards from the road way. >> yosemite turns 150 years old. the history on display. >> the sacredness of that landscape whether you've seen it 100 times or been there 100 types is so overwhelming and beautiful. ♪ ♪
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good evening and welcome to "kqed newsroom." i'm thuy vu. dem stray tomorrows protested in mountain view and want the internet to remain open without access fees or censorship by internet providers. it's known as net neutrality. it's heating up because the fcc is considering new rules for the internet. a public comment period ends july 15th. the issue gains high-speed momentum africa median john oliver highlighted it on his hbo show. it generated so many comments it crashed the agency's website. here is a clip of last week's tonight with john oliver. >> here is the thing, net neutrality is hugely important. essentially it means all data has to be treated equally no
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matter who creates it. the internet is a weirdly levelled playing field and established brands, that's how facebook sure planted my space and having friends. do you remember physically having friends? it was awful. you couldn't tap people's faces to make them go away. >> well, here to examine this debate further are the electronic frontier foundation and bob mcmiller. laura, john oliver having fun. net neutrality can sound dry, why should we care? >> the most basic reason, for example, if cnn can afford to make sure that its videos get to you faster, they will pay the money and suppose pbs can't. so pbs public broadcasting on the internet would suddenly be in a slow lane because they
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wouldn't be able to pay the extra fee. if you're a viewer, who will you watch? cnn or are you going to watch p many -- pbs going it's buffering, and buffering, you'll move over to cnn. that's the core of the issue. >> so not only business interest but a matter of free speech. >> that's right. now netflix is huge. netflix can afford to pay a lot of money to get traffic to you rapidly. whereas the next netflix or youtube or the next startup may not be able to afford it. they will need more investment money. we've been in a world where mark zuckerberg could sit and with $50 a month he could start facebook and it would get to everybody at the same speed. the fear is that the cable companies, comcast, timewarner, would start to charge a fee for the last mile into the home, and say we'll create a lane, faster lane so you can pay a little extra and we'll make sure that your traffic, your videos,
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whatever it is you're selling gets to the consumer faster. >> so the fcc is currently trying to draw up new open internet rules, the deadline for the public comment period july 15th. realistically, how much can the fcc regulate this give than a federal court ruled in january that it doesn't have the authority to regulate it right now? >> well, the fcc can do a lot but in order to actually regulate, the fcc is going to have to change the way the internet is classified. what the court said was that as the internet is currently classified, which is as an information service, the fcc can't apply the same public interest requirement it can apply to a telecommunication service so they have to do regulatory reshuffling so it has the proper amount of power to actually put some kind of public interest requirements over the internet because we need internet. we use it every day. it's essential to our lives and we need to start treating it
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like it's as important as it and the fcc needs the power to regulate it properly. >> bob, the internet was actually classified in the 1990s as an information service, not so much like a telecommunications industry, service provider. given that, what are the big internet service providers like comcast or verizon saying about all this? >> they don't like the idea of regulation. they want to do whatever their business dictates. they are opposed to the idea of applying common carrier regulations that we have on rail ways and airlines and to the internet. the internet is exceptional in that it hasn't -- it really very much acts like a common carrier. everybody uses it like a common carrier but it's never -- hasn't been regulated that way. so they don't like it but, you know, there is sort of a growing sentiment that something needs to be done even though the internet has been very successful as this sort of
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unregulated free wheeling world. it's getting older and some people are pushing for a regulation there. >> i mean, it's changed a lot. back when it was, you know, when there was less of a need for regulation, there were a lot more internet providers. we had more choices. right now the market is consolidated where there used to be many options into your home. now there is usually one option or two at most for high-speed fiber to your home. >> and i should add, that is because actually the government did give various companies like comcast monopolies over certain areas to encourage them to build out. they built out and there is another way to solve the problem would be what they do in europe is force the carriers to sell at a market price to other competitors so that there would be other people using the lines and that would bring the price down and maybe prevent the threat of blocking traffic or creating -- >> we're in a weird situation
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where the internet is amazing. this is great stuff that happens on it. on one hand, why should we mess with it? on the other hand, the cable companies and companies like at&t had really bad ideas what to do on the internet. if you look at the net neutrality debate, it was over whether you could have voice over ip or whether you could have a router in your house and there is the sense that these big companies are going to pursue interest and they have too much power right now. >> and a lot of the debate is over this concept of the fast lane, if you're a big company like google or facebook, you can afford to put your content on the fast lane and deliver it in a more efficient quick way to households. is that missing the mark? a lot of the big companies already are in the fast lane. >> well, i wrote an article about this this week and basically, may argument was that if we worry too much about fast lanes, we're going to ignore the
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sort of the competitive side of things. there are other issues that are really important. there is a free speech -- >> that is only one part, only one way that internet providers can discriminate. there are other ways internet providers can discriminate. it's not just about giving one company faster access to subscribers that lets isps act like the gate keepers but people's attention. i mean, what is happening, if you have a fast website and slow website, you'll go to the fast website. the isps are essentially acting as senators. >> prioritizing, if you will. >> there is a possibility here, too, which for example, comcast owns nbc and for now, because of another agreement they made, they can't do anything but at some point, comcast could decide to promote nba over other content producers. so the concern, too, is that you'll end up somehow with those kinds of arrangements. >> exactly. >> dark clouds on the horizon.
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i'm concerned about the sort of middlemen in the internet. there are a lot of -- the reason that someone like mark zuckerberg could start a facebook and build out is because there are companies in between that aren't google that aren't comcast that provide internet connectivity and a competitive vibrant marketplace and if one, if the consumer ips get too powerful, there is a worry that marketplace could be squeezed out. >> there is a sign in fact that is beginning. netflix was having problems getting its traffic through early people. they bring the traffic to the pipe that then goes towards your house and they were having problems. their traffic wasn't going through so they made a special deal with comcast and they are paying extra to get directly to comcast. so you're already seeing something start to shift. >> what is interesting is now you have a situation where there are big corporations like netflix, like google siding with the activists and signed an open letter supporting net
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neutrality. >> they have, yeah. over 150 companies came out and signed the letter in support of net neutrality to the fcc. >> what about the point that the internet service providers are making, though, that government regulation slows down invasion. they have invested a lot of money in the pipelines, shouldn't they be allowed to charge more to recoup investments they made? >> it's not about slowing down. right now we need rules to allow for invasion because we have the large incumbent companies that will be able to afford to make it to the fast lane, will be able to afford internet -- to pay internet providers to reach customers faster but new innovative companies won't be able to afford it. maybe a few years ago they needed less rules to invite but we're in a different space now. the internet changed a lot since 2002, since 2005. >> i mean, the big issue at this point has to do with something and my eyes glaze over a moment, title two and whether or not the fcc should reclassified internet
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as something called title two, which is where we put the phone company and electricity. >> we need to do that. >> a lot of people feel, i don't know -- >> why aren't they doing it, though? >> this is a good question. >> the fcc needs to reclassified the internet as title two as a common carrier to have the authority and power to tell isps what they can and can't do. >> why isn't it -- >> the reason why it wasn't -- the reason why it wasn't classified as a common carrier before is because back in 2002, we needed less rules to have perhaps more competition and a different environment. >> also, the internet has done really well with the regulation and there is a sentiment among many people in the tech community that without these regulations, you know, title two could -- >> could i jump in -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> very spirited. >> very fast. >> i think the chairman of the fcc is worried about congress fighting really hard to prevent
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him from doing this, and there is already a sign they will do that, republicans in congress already tried. >> we will leave it there. my guests, thank you so much. well, last week a northern california man was ordered to pay more than $11,000 in restitution for stealing part of a tree. he is the second person to be convicted this month for chopping burl off redwood at a national park. a look at why the environmental crime is prompting alarm and a crackdown. state park ranger brett silver is on high alert for unwanted visitors. suspicious trails in the park have recently led rangers to some unusual crime scenes. >> rangers on patrol know the game trail looked heavily used so they went for a hike and this is what they found. 18 cuts on this tree alone. >> this redwood was robbed of burl, the growth found at the
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base of the trunk. >> this one to your right, one to your left. >> burls are critical to the survival of redwoods because new trees can regenerate from them says ranger. >> from that burl, you can get an identical clone of the tree for another 2,000 years. >> these redwoods once covered more than 2 million acres from monterrey to the oregon boarder. today due to logging, only about 5% of them remain. the tallest trees in the world now face a new threat, poaching has gotten worse. slabs can sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars. so only 12 rangers to protect 132,000 acres of dense forest and are worried the poaching problem is much bigger than they seem. >> i think we've only just seen the tip of the iceberg. these are just ones that are kind of obvious, you know, the most blatant cut we've seen, literally five yards from the
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road way. >> the loss of timber jobs led to a spike in crime in general says the sheriff. >> just thefts and the last ten years skyrocketed. main motives are sometimes drugs. they are trying to get money from drugs. sometimes people don't want to work and they steal stuff to pawn it. >> authorities closed roads at night and boosted patrol but poachers seem to be going bigger and bolder. this was 50 feet up in the tree, the poachers cut the whole tree down. the tree is estimated to have been 400 years old. >> it was the first time that we've ever seen an entire redwood tree cut simply in order to obtain the burl that was on top of the tree. >> it is starting to pay off and an anonymous tip led to the arrest of two men for making this cut. it was later found at a nearby shop.
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both men pled guilty to felony vandalism and ordered to pay more than $12,000 in combined restitution. the once booming timber industry provided workers with plenty of redwood, that industry collapsed and with it, supply of valuable burl. >> redwood is kind of like a treasure chest. you can take a gray piece of wood and it looks gray and plain, to some people looks like a piece of firewood and cut into it and the beauty is unexplainable. >> jim termed the beauty of burl into a lucrative business. the shop sells furniture around the world. >> this is a table that went to the president of china. i made the top. >> pieces like these sell for thousands of dollars. he gets the burl legally from
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tree stumps. >> a typical deal farmer joe is going to pass through his land and he's got stumps. you take that out of the ground and there is really nice wood in there. >> while the business is legitimate, ranger denny suspects there might be a burl black market on the internet. >> you can go online and look at any of the options and find burl being sold. >> sellers say they acquired the burl slabs legally from family owned land and friends. in the meantime, more criminal investigations are happening. rangers are hoping consumers can play a role in solving the problem. >> i would like to see when people who are buying from vendors or businesses, they really ask the tough question where did this come from? usually what they will say is it
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came from private land. there isn't any kind of proof. >> this one here -- >> rangers say thieves are selling off more than mere pieces of wood. >> the coast redwood forest is a designation for people around the world. so by stealing pieces of this heritage, you're stealing from all of us. >> 150 years ago this month, president abraham lincoln set aside the first public lands in the country for resort and recreation, yosemite valley, an exhibit opening monday at the california historical society in san francisco looks at the human stories that are part of yosemite's history. the executive director shares some of those stories with scott shafer. >> welcome. >> thank you, scott, pleasure. >> take us back to 1864, if you would, president lincoln assigns the yosemite grant act. what role did photography have on him? during the civil war using photos of the dead that matthew
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brady was doing and photography was new at the time. >> brand-new. the first photographer in the valley was only in 1859 and it was watkins who comes in 1861, developed a new way of a large sized camera he calls the mammoth print to capture the beauty of scenery and watkins show premiered at the gallery of new york where matthew brady's photographs had just been and carnage on corporations on ts o field. they proposed the yosemite act and got it through congress had watkins like we have at the california historical society and we're pretty sure showed them to lincoln. how could he not be so swayed by that beauty? >> of course, there are so many icon i can photos now and others, half dome, but this is
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much more than that, this exhibit is really described as a human history of the park. what does that mean? >> correct. when you think of the almost 10,000 years of human occupation and skull ps and use, in the galleries, there are about 23 stories and in our accompanies book there is a couple dozen more. >> give me an example of one that stands out. >> one of the more beautiful ones is the story of julia parker, still alive, a beautiful, beautiful soul who was sent like many california indians to boarding school, an indian boarding school in nevada. meets her husband. he's from the valley. so he comes, brings his beautiful bride home and introduces her to his mother and grandmother and aunties all basket makers of the highest order, and she didn't even know
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any more what it was like to be an indian, not to mention an indian basket maker. she's asked to make a basket for the queen of england -- >> there is a picture of her presenting the basket to her and the prince. >> absolutely and her family here from the northern coast saw the picture in the newspaper and reconnected with her. >> wow. >> never having known her, never having seen her. >> wow. >> in terms that she is a descende descendent. >> there are photos in this exhibit like you do a double take. there is one of a bear standing on its hind legs and a woman maybe six feet away. >> right. >> is that a real bear? >> that's a real bear trained by the park's first female neutralists in the 1920s and at the time bears were supposed to be like pets, smaller bears. >> so there wasn't a grizzly?
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>> the grizzlies had been gone since the 1880s and in the exhibition we show one of the last grizzlies shot in the valley. so it describes the attention between how natural should it be and the ways in which men and nature and culture have wrestled in that. of course, we don't see the bears, wild policy and its kind of gone the other way to feed the bears which is what was happening. >> seemed happy. seemed like a happy bear. >> happy relationship. >> there was another photo of two women dressed in the garb of the day dressed like a pine tree. almost looks photo shop. >> right. that pine tree grew out of solid granite at 4,000 feet and not surprisingly one of the most photographed trees in the park until it died in 2003 but the -- these women playfully standing
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on the tree. so many others shot before him again is this wonderful symbol of how we got to know yosemite, large lly through photograph at first and how we're displaying it through photographs and gallery and what special magic happens when we go there. >> there is a rich history in the park of climbing. >> absolutely. >> how does that play out in the exhibit? >> we bring forth the really amazing story of climati climbi 1958 but reaches the moment as california, of course, is going through wrenching changes in the 1960s and we see the show through the eyes especially of glen denny who is still alive and lives here in san francisco, started, went in first to photograph and then started to climb and he has this wonderful quote that the air was his platform, you know, that they learned like watkins before
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them, they took these daring, daring photograph courage as they climbed and as climbing evolved into free climbing, the death defying culture and camped out at camp four, which was the only free camp ground at the park and created in this interesting hippy climbing culture. >> you told me you're a third generation californian. >> i am. >> do you have your own rich memories of yosemite? >> i do. like many californians, i went all over the world before i went to yosemite which is sad. i knew it through photography, our sons were small we first went and the sacredness of the landscape whether you've seen it 100 times or been there 100 times was beautiful. >> an interactive exhibit, i'm sure. >> absolutely. family friendly, beautiful
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visuals, over literally hundreds of different objects, artifacts, videos. >> and showing through -- >> through january 25th, you have the whole rest of the year. >> all right. thank you so much for sharing it with us. >> great, thank you. and now for a look at what is coming up on kqed news is scott shafer, high scott. >> high thuy vu. >> a bill to expand the bill and the man standing in the way of the expansion is the man that represents the district. >> iconic. tea party republican, small government, says he doesn't want to expand the park and buy that additional property available because he doesn't trust the national park service. and so it's actually become something of an issue in the congressional race there. he came in first in the june primary but running against
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another republican more who supports expanding. so it's a classic face-off between a tea party republican and a more main stream republican. we'll see how that issue plays out in the race. >> interesting to watch. also, something else coming up this fall, another election issue, public safety, a measure to reduce penalties for some crimes. under what circumstances? >> what they want to do, it's a ballot measure support the by the da in san francisco and law enforcement officials, they want to reduce the sentences from felonies to misdemeanors for small relatively small crimes like petty theft, certain drug possessions, that kind of thing. again, it's part of the whole idea of decriminalizing drug kinds of crimes, dealing, sending them to rehabilitation instead of prison, so that will be on the ballot in november. >> there is a bill about the death penalty circulating. what is happening with that? >> that's supported by former governors and anti crime groups,
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district attorneys. they are collecting signatures. the deadline was yesterday to get it on the november ballot. it may be on a future ballot but not november. >> so maybe 2016 for that. this didn't get much attention but the state supreme court on thursday issued a 5-2 decision saying that effectively that undocumented immigrants can file for worker's compensation. >> that's right. a worker over was disabled, he sued the employer for not hiring him back and wanted workers comp benefits. because he was undocumented, there was a thinking that perhaps he couldn't be eligible for those but the court said no, federal law does not preemp undocumented workers even if they lie to get false papers, they are entitled to those protections. >> so it was set forward? >> one out of 11 workers are undocumented and if there are
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wage disputes, sexual harassment claims, they could come forward to court. >> thank you. >> you bet. for more, go to kqed >> i'm scott shape fer thanks f joining us. >> and i'm thuy vu, have a good night.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ every single bite needed to be -- ♪ ♪ >> there are twinkies in there. >> wow! it's like a great, big hug in the cold city. >> it's about as spicy as i can handle and my parents put chili powder in my baby food. >> french fries all over the table and just a lot of